So what was the result of my attempt at minimalist packing you wonder? I stuck to it and took 1 rolling carry-on, 1 backpack and my cross body purse onboard. The exercise of writing what I was going to take and also pre-packing (giving myself enough lead time) was very helpful in the final packing phase. The ebag packing cubes have been tremendously useful so far (I’m not getting paid for this, yet), especially the medium size cubes. Fern liked them too so he got 3 more medium size ones. He is using 2, and gave me 1.
In the end, I used 4 packing cubes:
- 1 Large: for packing pants and dresses (I find this bag a bit large to work with, but fits clothing nicely in 2 “columns).
- 2 medium: for shirts and tops
- 1 small: for putting the goodies we are taking to Fernando’s family in Brasil.
So we didn’t check this requirement, but should have – LAN only allows 18 lbs or 8 kg for your rolling carry-on. The dude made me weigh it, and it was 36 lbs! = way over. The amazing thing was that I had an extra tote (yellow thing in the picture, thanks Pang!) that I pulled the packing cubes out of so it could be weighed. After I pulled out the 2 medium and 1 small packing cube, it was still overweight! That means 18 lbs. is really nothing when the bag itself weighs something (good thing we didn’t have to weigh our backpacks, or we would have been in trouble). So, then we pulled out the 1 large packing cube, and it met the weight limitations. He was nice and signed off. It wouldn’t have been the end of the world because: 1) we could just take the extra tote with the packing cubes as carry-on (1 backpack each as our personal item + 1 carry-on each), or 2) check it in because it was included, but would have been inconvenient and unplanned. After getting the okay from the nice man at the check-in counter, we put everything back in the rollie and proceeded to security. All good.
My backpack had the following:
- Toiletries: 2 plastic zippy bags of toiletries, 1 toiletry bag (sans liquids), 1 cheapo scissors ( which I snuck through LAX but had to toss in Lima ;P)
- 1 mini manicure set, 1 makeup bag and 1 eyeshadow set
- 1 book
- 1 DSLR Camera
- Snacks from Whole Foods
- Jacket and scarf for plane (it was darn chilly the whole plane ride!)
In summation, I still could have even packed less AND the packing cubes were amazing! Imagine if I had to pull folded clothes out in bunches — what a mess! This is a process and I am an “evolving packer.”